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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  December 2, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

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>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit >> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena.
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>> my hope is to get this done before christmas. >> no substantive progress has been made in talks between the white house and the house. >> this week on "inside washington," heading towards the fiscal cliff. who is going to blink first? >> nobody can win everything. the republicans will have to give on revenue, democrats will have to give on entitlement reform. >> susan rice still in the bull's-eye. >> the concerns i have are greater today than before. >> lunch at the white house whitemitt. who will dare to break the no tax hike pledge? >> republicans who voted against the no tax hike pledged damage the brand for everyone else.
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captioned by the national captioning institute >> thomas jefferson said the purpose of government is to enable the people of the nation to live in safety and happiness. jefferson said americans would be ok if they could keep the government from wasting their labors under the pretense of taking care of them. what is your government doing for you today? is it preparing to drive itself over a cliff like thelma and louise? >> despite the claim that the president supports a balanced approach, the democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. >> if congress does nothing, every family in america will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. >> if we go over the cliff, you are going to have a slowdown in economic growth of at least a 4%. that puts us back into recession, meaning 2 million people lose their jobs,
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unemployment goes to 9%. >> that is erskine bowles, who along with alan simpson shared the deficit reduction commission a couple of years ago. they are both in town trying to pound a sense at into elected leaders. evan thomas has been out of town promoting his book, "ike's bluff." terrific christmas present. >> thank you. >> as i recall, we were having the same composition we are having now. >> like groundhog day. talk about bluffing -- they will be complete unreasonable until the last second where they agreed. while they are bluffing, we could go over the cliff. >> where are we headed, mark? >> one side says that raising tax rates is an example, the other side says we will not balance the budget on the backs of students and seniors without asking those who make as much as
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i do not to pay another diamond. we are in the chest thumping a stage of this negotiation. we are interested in the product rather than the process. the process does the fact of the product and you don't want hostilities to make the final product unreachable. >> nina, there were a bunch of c.l.'s in town saying please do something so we can plan for our future. >> the difference between this and the battle over raising the debt level before is that republicans, i think, actually want to figure out a way out of this. they will get blamed and they don't want to get blamed. there was an election on this and a loss. -- and they lost. i don't pay much attention to what they are saying right now. whenever they are saying for public consumption is for public
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consumption. what matters is that everybody gets behind doors and to negotiate. >> i paid attention to what charles krauthammer said on fox, i think i heard you say the other night it that the cliff is the only leverage the republicans have. >> not really the only leverage. both sides are invulnerable. but i disagree with my colleagues that it is pox on both houses. right after election day, the speaker of the house offers a peace pipe, saying i'm willing to raise revenues. it is a break in what republicans have held to for several decades. the response the administration gave on thursday, it said timothy geithner to offer the following -- a hike in taxes of $160 billion that the congress gives up any influence over the debt ceiling and, rather than proposing any cuts in spending whatsoever, the administration wants to spend an extra $50
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billion on stimulus. now, that is an insulting offer, and republicans will and should walk away from an offer after they had offered to compromise on taxes. obama has said that he wants a balanced approach. where are the cuts? >> grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform, author of the no-tax-hike pledge, but some people ar -- wants everybody to hold the line, but some people are weakening. i things starting to soften up there? >> tom cole, republican from oklahoma, a very astute politician, was it very honestly and openly a politician before he got elected to congress, and said that we ought to take the deal and cut taxes on 98% of people, basically rid ourselves
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of the fact that most people other than charles c., that the republicans have become the party of billionaires' and millionaires in this debate. that is what happened in the election of 2012. that really is a continuing problem for republicans. that is what you are seeing to it is not just anti-grover norquist movement. it is a realization that they have a political problem. >> a lot of positive signs for a deal. one is that grover norquist, who is kind of a ridiculous figure, it has been exposed as that and people are walking away. businessmen are in town saying we want predictability, and that is a good sign. but the indication from the white house is that obama is pretty dug in -- i want, i will break those republicans. maybe it is just a bargaining position, maybe he is making it, but the feeling is that he really does want to bust the other side.
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>> what happened in the debt ceiling fight is that they thought they could just do this in work is so they put it out in public. >> but he wants to raise the debt ceiling. >> that is part of the leverage that republicans have -- >> the best leverage if they have. >> obama thinks he has all the cards, he thinks he is napoleon, or perhaps lbj after his landslide. obama won this election by three points. 95% of republicans in the house won by a larger margin. he has a mandate, they have a mandate, and they have offered to raise revenues, which is to raise taxes. what obama is after is one mark indicates -- he wants to make a political point that republicans are the party of the millionaires. if you look at it as it will attempt to fix our issues, if you do it the taxes he wants,
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racing on the top 2%, it brings in 8 cents on the dollar, and what it means is that the deficit will go from $1.10 trillion to $1.02 trillion. that is his solution to our fiscal problem. . >> i will point out numbers, arithmetic. the republicans lost the house race, lost the majority of americans voting and a house. they lost two seats in the senate. mitt romney got 47% of the popular vote. that, ladies and gentlemen, is a devastating defeat. >> republicans hold the house and the house -- >> lost a majority of the popular vote -- >> under our constitution, there is a house, senate, and a presidency. >> susan rice's never-ending sunday talk show nightmare. >> i continue to be troubled by the fact that the u.n. ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political
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role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign by agreeing to go on the sunday shows. -- to present the administration's position. >> main republican senator susan collins after hearing from u.n. ambassador susan rice on capitol hill. she also tried to tie susan rice to the 1998 embassy bombings in kenya and tanzania. now, for a while it looked like senators graham mccain were going to give her past, but then she went up there to talk to these folks. why would she do that, nina? >> i don't know, but they keep moving the bar on her. initially they said did not like what she said, then petraeus said these are the
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facts we gave her but now a senator collins says she should not have gone on television at all. nobody said that about condoleezza rice when she used to go on sunday talk shows all the time to represent the administration's position, including an election year, and said things that were later proven to be not true that she may not have known that. she probably didn't know. >> senator collins also had nice things to say about john kerry as secretary of state is that what this is about? to put susan rice on the sidelines, bring kerry out of the senate, open up the massachusetts seat for scott brown? >> there is always the back story in washington, and the kerry thing may be part of it. but there's something about susan rice that is off-putting to people, i don't have my arms about buying it if you cannot win over susan collins, who is a nice, reasonable person, she cannot be a very good ambassador in her own cause.
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>> and she is from maine. >> well, she is really from washington. but there must be something about her that antagonizes people. >> i think people are missing the point. i don't think the story is susan rice. the real story is the president paid he said himself in his press conference, don't pick on the little lady, pick on me. if you want to complain about what was said on the talk shows, the veracity of the administration talking about what happened in benghazi, pick on me. ok. he is the one who was responsible. what was told of the added states -- was told to the united states on that day was a fable. it began with the demonstration, it got out of hand, there was a right, people ended up dead except there was no demonstration at all -- wait a minute -- it was known by the fbi three days after the benghazi attack and two days
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before susan rice went on tv. the fbi spoke to the people in the embassy they brought back to germany and they all said no demonstrations. what we have is a falsehood that this administration has yet to explain. >> she was working off talking points handed to her, and said if information it continues to be evaluated. that was part of the talking points as well. >> the libyan spokesman preceded her and contradicted the talking points. she chose not to address that for whatever reason. my question goes back to where is the conspiracy, where is the cover-up? where is the scandal? was the benghazi office inadequately secured? absolutely.
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decisions made at people have to be held accountable for? yes. ,ut let's not confuse a mistake a defect, a fall of somebody with some massive conspiracy. >> tempest in teapot, which suggests there is something else at play. it is not about the facts. it is about something else. >> what is the something else? >> she is a prickly personality, that is part of it. also, i think she would be much more of an interventionist than hillary clinton is pillar clinton adulate at low. susan rice would be more of a humanitarian interventionists. >> we know that the talking points given by the intelligence community were altered, and we still don't know who offered them and why. -- who atlered them and why.
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maybe the administration allowed them to continue to sit at al qaeda is still on its heels and everything he said in charlotte. how do you get to that story when we know that the intelligence community said something else? it was changed pretty who did it? that is the scandal. >> who lost china? >> the u.n. votes for palestine as a non-voting observer state. >> progress cannot be made by pressing agree voting button in this hall, nor does passing any resolution to create a state where none exists or change the reality on the ground. >> speaking of susan rice, there she is, the u.n. ambassador to the general assembly voted on thursday by a large amount and to upgrade palestine from its status as an observer entity to
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an observer state. the united states opposed this, as you just heard from susan rice. why is it a bad idea? >> the united states and israel put intense pressure on abbas and the palestinians not to bring it up, and the palestinians had already decided to bring it up. there is a rule in politics -- when you have the votes, a vote. they have the votes. i believe behind it was an attempt to buttress and support the palestinian authority, which has been eclipsed by hamas, it is strengthening its hand -- into strengthening its hand, that hamas had become the paramount force in the region. >> i believe this is on the anniversary of the vote for israeli acceptance in the un, wasn't it? 1948? exactly the same day. that was not a creation of
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israel. that was the partition resolution to create two states. that is the tragedy. that was a resolution 65 years ago that said there should be a jewish state and an arab state. the jews accepted, the arabs rejected. they started a war where they attacked israel, five arab countries invaded, and they thought israel would easily be destroyed. it wasn't, and we have had 60- plus years where israel has been a state and the palestinians, overrun by their own arab allies, or cap essentially in bondage. they never achieved statehood because every time it was offered, like in 1947, with the jewish state and a palestinian state, they always said no if there is a jewish state. it is the lack of acceptance of a jewish state for this entire time that has prevented the emergence of the palestinian state. >> charles issue right in most
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regards about this, and israel has history on its side in terms of the right, but at the moment it does not have the present on its side and it is behaving in a way in which it alienates a great many people. to have only nine countries signed with israel on this a vote against palestinian statehood, and have some of our closest allies -- germany, which would not do this lightly, abstain -- it is quite a message to where israel is in its position in the world, and it cannot be ignored forever. >> no wonder israel feels isolated. this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. overwhelming -- not small, but avalanche majorities. it is no wonder that they feel isolated. it puts the united states in an awkward position, but it is not
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new. >> nothing awkward about sticking to the decision we have had for 20 years since oslo, that we want a palestinian state and the conditions that the two sides have exempted is that it would emerge from negotiations -- accepted that it would emerge from negotiations. the reason we oppose this resolution is that it trades at fictional palestinian state without negotiations, a palestine again without recognizing the jewish state, which means a perpetual state of war. our objective has been a peace treaty between the jewish state and palestinian state that except each other, and arabs will not accept a jewish state. >> i will quote abbas' words yesterday -- "we don't seek to delegitimize the state established years ago, and that is israel and." they are on record. >> these are the people you want
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to negotiate with. >> president obama and mike mitt romney to lunch. as promised, president obama and mitt romney over to the white house for lunch. i want to ask you about a new piece in "the new republic" about the romney campaign's internal polling. everywhere you go in washington, they say why were they so surprised they lost? the internal polling told them they were going to win. >> there are polls showing that romney was ahead in new hampshire and colorado, with in the campaign. a great pollster -- the problem was that they had a turnout model that was not what the turnout turned out to be paid i don't think anybody was going to deduct the kind of turnout among voters between ages 18 and 29 or latino voters that we had on election day except the obama people. >> or even african-americans, who voted in percentages beyond their percentage of the population. the article% of the population,
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50% of the obama -- they are called% of the publishing, 15% of the obama vote. >> colby king said on this program at that that is because they felt threatened. >> romney, a great manager, had a badly run campaign. they wasted a lot of money, they allowed obama to define romney early as this out of touch rich guy, their ground game got killed. it was really not a well-run campaign. >> the reason they got the polling august that some people on the right figh the electorate -- some people the right thought that the electorate would look like the electorate of 2004, not 2008, that 2008 was an exceptional year, the excitement over the first african-american. they assumed that the elector would be +2 democrats rather than the +6 it turned out to
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be. in the end it was +6 -- >> in fairness to the romney people, nobody knew what the vaunted ground game was going to be like from the obama people. that it was going to be as good as it turned out to be. >> mark, about the lunch, what do you suppose they talked about? >> you know, there is such natural chemistry between these two. it reminds me of the lunch when ronald reagan was present, that nancy reagan and the chief of staff for not getting along, and the two of them met for lunch with their food testers. >> do you think he has a job for him down the road? >> he has a job, with a management skill, like to you have a plan to you want to close? [laughter] >> let me go back to susan rice did in terms of our foreign policy, everybody agrees that
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hillary clinton has done a fine job -- almost everybody, i guess. >> what exactly has she done right? >> in terms of making policy -- >> you don't think she was that good? >> i think she was a nice presents but i don't see her fingerprints -- >> if you ask me what and we kissinger did, i can tell you. what did she do? >> do we have a dissenting point of view? >> she did a huge number of things, she quieted down more near catastrophes that you can imagine -- >> name on. >> may ii finish? she has done an enormous amount for women. most people did not have the rights that i do on this program to hit you upside the head when i think we're wrong, charles. that would get me killed most places. >> if that is your case, i rest
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my. >> i think the foreign policy of president obama and secretary clinton has been successful. i take it is hard to argue with that. i think that hillary clinton as the engineer, if not architect of a good part of that, and the turn to it a shot makes a good sense, the extrication from iraq, the fact that we are going to be leaving afghanistan -- those are all classes -- all pluses -- >> out of the white house, tom donilon -- >> you cannot say it was her -- >> where is hillary clinton on syria? how has she performed on syria? >> i think they are just laying low in syria until the election. but now it sounds like they are going to get more involved. >> i find it rather ironic that we're talking about what a great success this administration has had on foreign affairs on the
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day after we just got the defeat of 160-6 on an extremely important issue in the one on the palestinians, and a month after the collapse of america's allies and position in all of north africa and the middle east. we have lost all of our allies and the region, we have the muslim brotherhood in control of egypt, and hamas is on the rise, iran is four years closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon, no evidence of iran's isolation at all. and they just had a meeting of the -- 120 countries, heads of state, showed up to tehran, and we pretend that iran is isolated. we're talking, successes? >> i am disappointed that this president has not started a war with iran. [laughter] we are in the post-arab spring. andn't know who are the us
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who are the them and i am not sure anybody dies. -- does. we are going through the birth of democracy in these places -- >> or not. >> or not, and it will be painful and difficult. the united states does have control. there is not the united states answer to everything. we have influence, and that influence has been expended, i think wisely. >> there is a question as to how bellicose, how "muscular" you want to be in confronting what you view -- >> birth of democracy in the middle east in the week that the egyptian president declares dictatorial powers. that is rather ironic. >> last word. we like irony here. see you next week.
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>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit
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